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Squirrel Troubles

 
Posts: 288
Location: Harrisonburg, VA
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ALTHOUGH I couldn't agree more with most of your points I have read only a few things about maggots/chickens and seem to remember botchulism (spelling?) or something coming up as an issue. Perhaps caused by the intensity of the bucket compared with pasture. That's all
 
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David Miller wrote:ALTHOUGH I couldn't agree more with most of your points I have read only a few things about maggots/chickens and seem to remember botchulism (spelling?) or something coming up as an issue. Perhaps caused by the intensity of the bucket compared with pasture. That's all




To the best of my knowledge botulism toxin is produced in anaerobic conditions and is usually associated with commercial chicken feed which has become wet for long periods of time. Wet feed sticks together like concrete and if left for long enough, creates ideal conditions for the Clostridium botulinum bacteria to thrive. Of course all spoiled food stuff is fodder for flies and maggots, so it seems that the majority of these problems arise from chickens eating maggots from this spoiled toxic feed. I think the chickens would avoid the bad feed if it were by itself (and they have other things to eat) but the maggots may be too much to resist and thus... dead chickens. As a side note Botulism is the same ingredient in "BOTOX" which is injected into people's faces for "beauty". The toxin is a paralytic, which renders muscles immobile. In large doses it retards respiration and heart function, killing the host. In very tiny localized doses it paralyzes tiny facial muscles to prevent crow's feet and laugh lines.
 
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Looking to this thread for useful suggestions for my squirrel problem. Since the last post is four years old, maybe someone has had success with something new since.  Cannot hunt in town, and anyway, our Willow Oaks are too fine an attraction to convince them to abandon their nests.  We have plenty of hawks around, but also too much cover for easy pickings. I had no problem with the bulbs they transplanted from the flower gardens, but now they are digging up my pea seeds.  This is a new garden a lots will be available for them this year. And I really want to plant peaches.
 
David Miller
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Do you have a cat?
 
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We have two outdoor cats and we have loads of squirrels.  We also have an outdoor dog whose main job (according to her) is chasing squirrels.  Still, we have loads of squirrels.
 
David Miller
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Fair enough, the little bastards are relentless. Tree rats
 
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I had the same problem last year. This year I'm going to try the rat traps,despite my wife's objections.
The squirrel carcasses will go to the chooks, or be buried in mesh till there's no flesh left-there's a market for such bones on Etsy.
 
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Squirrels are very easy to trap, and once trapped, easy enough to dispatch.  A simple box trap is all you need.  Put it where they normally come onto your property.  In my case, they run along a block wall.  I bait the trap with some peanuts or other stale nuts and catch the offending squirrel within a day or two.  They are naturally curious so they go right into a box trap.  Use their curiosity against them—its the permaculture way.

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If you're going to buy a box trap, get one big enough to catch other pests as well --- squirrels don't care if its a big trap, in fact, I would imagine that it being less confined makes it more welcoming to enter.  I use my for possums, stray cats, the occasional raccoon that isn't too cleaver yet, and one skunk (thus far).

If you want to be even more permi about it (and don't want to eat the little rodents), set up a black soldier fly box and feed the squirrel to the maggots, who in turn you can feed to the chickens or fish.
 
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We have some of the fattest squirrels I've ever seen living in the copse behind our property. Figs seems to be their favorite food and they don't share. The good news is that we have a large bird of prey that has moved into the neighborhood (at least, part time) and there are a few semi-ferrel cats (have owners that let them run)that pass through. We'll see how things shape up in the next month or so. The rabbit population has diminished considerably since we first spotted the possible eagle a couple of years ago. My follow-up plan A is to plant garlic and daffodils  everywhere. Plan B is to get out the bee bee gun and plan C is to get a rat terrier. I have a feeling that I'll be sorry I didn't go with plan C first but my husband is opposed to another pet and we do not have the required fence (in our covenant neighborhood) to have the dog.
 
m c nestor
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I just recently heard of success in deterring squirrels by feeding them (corn) near to where they live. They're apparently as lazy as we are and will take the easy/near over the harder/farther any day.
 
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Location: Mid Coast Maine
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Hello!  I'm resurrecting this thread since my dad and I are about to attempt to protect his hazelnuts from squirrels, without just picking them before they are ripe.  We have red squirrels, grey squirrels and chipmunks.  According to Dad's notes, he started seeing rodent activity on August 11th last year, so we would like to have all our defenses up this week.  Our ideas include burying a fence made of layers of chicken wire, black plastic and then more chicken wire, followed by an electric fence up higher, or thick black plastic that they won't be able to climb easily.  We are also looking into getting a rodent zapper and a trap to reduce the overall population.  The bushes are about 5' x 10' with many stalks so flashing isn't an option.  They are so heavy with nuts that the branches are touching the ground.  We are in Camden, Maine.  I appreciate any ideas or encouragement and will keep you posted!
 
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Location: Denver, CO
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Squirrels have become a huge problem for us too, but they don't seen interested in the fruit on our pear or apple trees. Instead they have made it very difficult to attract birds. They completely destroyed one of my squirrel proof bird feeders by eating an entire hole through it. The other big problem for me is that the cat is constantly chasing them. I would hate for her to get a hold of one of them.
One solution might be to attract a family of hawks to your yard. We have had some very large hawks that have arrived later in July and I have noticed very few squirrels!


Kirk Hutchison wrote:  Squirrels have been eating the unripe peaches on my peach tree lately. How do I stop them? (without poison, of course)

 
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